Uttarakhand Dalit Cook Reinstated After Being Sacked Over Caste Controversy

An SC/ST Act case has been filed against 31 people for making casteist slurs against Sunita Devi.

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Hindi Female

Sunita Devi, the Dalit cook who was sacked after upper caste students at an Uttarakhand school refused to eat the midday meal made by her, has been reappointed, PTI reported.

The decision to reappoint the 32-year-old woman came from the management committee of the school.

"The decision to reappoint her was taken on the basis of a government order which says that if a consensus is not reached in such cases, candidates from SC/ST or OBC communities should be given priority," according to Champawat district's Chief Education Officer RC Purohit.

An SC/ST Act case has been filed against 31 people for making caste slurs against Sunita Devi and also for criminal intimidation, with the FIR naming six of them – Mahesh Chaurakoti, Deepa Joshi, Bablu Gehtori, Satish Chandra, Nagendra Joshi and Shankar Dutt.

The controversy had escalated after the Uttarakhand SC/ST Commission threatened to go to court and due to the inquiry ordered by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

Sunita Devi said that she had been told about her reinstatement.

"I am hopeful that this time there will be no trouble. I am both hopeful and unsure," she said, as reported in The Indian Express.

The parents who had complained about Sunita’s appointment had claimed that rules of appointment had been violated.

The principle of the school, however, who himself is a Dalit, pointed out that the official criteria for Sunita Devi's role prioritises "a non-general (category) appointment."

Principal Prem Singh also said that not only did the school have a majority of upper caste students, but also that it had never had a Dalit cook for 10 years, ever since his tenure began.

(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express)

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Topics:  Uttarakhand 

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